Interview: Tan Seck Geok from Great Eastern Women’s Run

There’s been plenty of talk about proposing that women undergo National Service. Do you think that’s far-fetched?
Women today are more empowered and independent. I believe the latest decision is that the Singapore Armed Forces will not draft women for National Service but volunteer opportunities for us will be expanded. I have no doubt women will be able to contribute meaningfully in these areas.

What do you think of all the alternative runs happening in Singapore? Do you think the running scene will run out of ideas? No pun intended.
Alternative runs have a certain appeal and add a refreshing dimension to Singapore’s running scene. They are a good complement to the more serious runs and add variety. The Great Eastern Women’s Run combines fun and competition. Our Live Great 5km Fun Run is ideal for casual runners while we also have categories such as the 21km half marathon for the serious runners

We have no doubt about the difficulties women face in juggling their duties. Does Singapore make it conducive or otherwise?
In Singapore, women are relatively more fortunate in the workplace than their counterparts in Asia. Working women enjoy good support from the government and from most organisations. Great Eastern is no different. As a LIFE Company, we believe that a healthy workplace is where employees, both women and men, can maximise their potential and are more engaged and happy. Our unique employee benefits programme – LIFE Programme – focuses on helping employees live healthier and better. Employees are given incentives such as LIFE points to take charge of their health. One point is equivalent to $1 which they can use for themselves and family members. Heath and wellness activities are organised every month, such as health talks and mass walks around the office vicinity to motivate employees to keep healthy.

We have numerous women-only runs in Singapore these days. How will this run stand out?
We believe in going the extra mile to create a memorable race experience for our 14,000 participants. Each year, we add a new dimension to our Run to make it that much more special. We were the first to introduce a series of regular fringe activities prior to the race day. These included pole dancing, Pilates, healthy cooking workshops and circuit training which were very popular with and well-received by our participants. Ours is the only run to feature a Powder Room where ladies can freshen up after their run at the Floating Platform @ Marina Bay. Special touches included wet wipes, perfume and cotton pads. From a survey we conducted, we found that majority of women want to keep fit but are held back by work and family commitments. Support from family and friends are also important to them. So this year, we upped the ante. On race day on 10 November, we will be organising something special just for family members, friends and supporters.

Three qualities that define a woman?
Strong, giving and confident.

The Great Eastern Women’s Run takes place on November 10 at The Float@Marina Bay.